By Robert J. Fogelin
During this up to date variation of his short, enticing ebook, Robert J. Fogelin examines figures of speech that drawback meaning--irony, hyperbole, understatement, similes, metaphors, and others--to exhibit how they paintings and to give an explanation for their appeal. development at the principles of Grice and Tversky, Fogelin contends that figurative language derives its energy from its insistence that the reader perform the textual content, taking a look past the literal which means of the figurative language to the meanings which are implied. With examples starting from Shakespeare, John Donne, and Jane Austen to e.e. cummings, Bessie Smith, and Monty Python, Fogelin demonstrates that the highbrow and aesthetic strength of figurative language is derived from the chance it offers for limitless elaboration.
Fogelin offers a contemporary restatement of the view, first recommend through Aristotle, that metaphors are to be handled as elliptical similes. He then bargains an in depth protection of this "comparativist" view of metaphors in keeping with criticisms which were introduced opposed to it via a sequence of eminent philosophers. This new version is up to date to mirror more moderen paintings at the subject and should curiosity philosophers, linguists, and literary theorists.
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Extra resources for Figuratively Speaking
That, however, may make it seem question-begging. To avoid giving such an impression, I will begin by taking the critics’ case against Aristotle’s treatment of metaphors in their own words. It is important to recognize the type of construction that Aristotle takes as paradigmatic in speaking of metaphors. In the example he presents, Achilles is referred to as a lion rather than called a lion. , Achilles] leapt rather than this: (2) Achilles is a lion. Both Cicero and Quintilian, perhaps following Aristotle, also cite constructions of this first type in their discussion of metaphors.
Here A’s ironic remark, by inviting a criticism, amounts to a confession. A can also speak ironically to B about some third party C. It is sometimes useful to draw a distinction between the targets of an ironic remark and those other respondents who are not targets. ) Finally, out of the class of respondents, some may be naive, others informed. A may speak ironically to naive B for the amusement of a sophisticated third party C. Thus Mark Twain offered elaborate praise for the doggerel verse of Sarah Orne Jewett, much to the amusement of his intellectual friends.
Not suffering from amnesia, the comparativist, unlike many of his critics, knows that similes, as figures of speech, present figurative, not literal, comparisons. With a simile, “one thing is likened to a dissimilar thing by the use of like” (Lanham 1991, 140). Thus the treatment of metaphors as elliptical similes is not a reduction of the figurative to the nonfigurative; it is rather a specification of the kind of figurativeness metaphors possess. Metaphors are elliptical figurative comparisons.